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Horsey Nails It, Again

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I've posted David Horsey cartoons here in the past. This one, like the previous ones, has it right on the money (no pun intended...).

Ben Sargent, Cartoonist

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

While clicking through the political cartoons at Yahoo!News I ran across this little gem by Ben Sargent:
I thought you might like it. It says a lot about our current state of affairs and how much information this administration has deemed not for public consumption. I think Charley Reese had it right when he said,
"Recent governments, however, have gone overboard and promiscuously classify practically any piece of paper that comes across their desk. Usually the only thing they are protecting is our own government from embarrassment or possibly criminal prosecution."
I tend to think they're trying to avoid criminal prosecution, myself.

Too Much Theft

Monday, March 17, 2008

Funny story, this.
I was working the other day when I gal came in to purchase a few quarts of oil. She inquired about the price of our various brands as the oil wasn't marked on the shelf. I apologized for the inconvenience, but explained that the oil prices change so rapidly that it's almost impossible to keep them accurately priced so we just quote as needed off the computer.
She gathered up what she needed and came to the counter to pay. While standing there, she remarked that the price of oil--and gasoline--had gotten way out of hand. She wondered what she was going to do, as she was a minimum-wage worker and wasn't sure how she was going to continue to afford going to work. She said she had to work about an hour and a half just to pay for the fuel she used to go to her job. I held a dollar bill up and, while showing it to her, said the problem wasn't that the oil or gasoline was so expensive, it was the money she was using to buy it with was worth less, i.e. it didn't buy as much as before. I then expressed my concern for her plight and left it at that.
Apparently, she didn't like my explanation and went into a tirade about how the oil companies were making so much money off selling oil and that it wasn't fare and the government should do something about it. Being of the mindset I am, I asked what she had in mind knowing what her answer was probably going to be. She replied that the government she put a price freeze in place, take the oil profits, and give those profits to the poor. Those that know me know that this woman's ignorant statement pretty much hit my go button dead-center.
I asked her if she felt alright with someone breaking into her house at night and taking her stuff. She responded with an emphatic NO! I then asked how she could be alright with taking the oil company's profits as it was the exact same thing: stealing. She countered that it wasn't stealing because they had too much money. To which I replied that it would be alright then for someone to steal from her what they felt she had too much of. She again said no. I then explained that it doesn't matter how much someone else has. If it isn't your property and you take it from them--either by doing the taking yourself or by using the force of government--it's still stealing.
She got a little huffy but couldn't respond with a counter argument. After a short pause, she finally replied that she felt they still had too much money. With that she turned and headed for the door. As she left, I hollered after her, "That's fine, but it's still their money... and it's still stealing!"

Debasing the Dollar

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's time once again to put on my tinfoil hat and make an observation about our failing economy. This is just an observation, so do with this as you please. Here goes...
At the end of the Clinton era, Bush took office and the economy to be in pretty good shape. After the terrorist attacks, however, things took a huge nosedive in part because the stock exchange was closed and the airline industry came to a screeching halt, not to mention rampant fear and paranoia fueled by our own creation: the color-coded fear-o-meter. Then our fearless leaders drug this country into a war with their most recent whipping boy, Saddam Hussein, and Iraq. That war has now lasted longer than World War II. And we've paid for that war mostly by borrowing money. Lots of money.
Now, what happens to a fiat currency when you borrow more and more money into existence? Anyone, anyone? That's right: inflation. And, boy, do we have inflation. Oh, if you ask the fed, they'll deny it. But, isn't it convenient that where the effects of inflation felt the most are those areas the fed doesn't look at when calculating its inflation figures? You know, like fuel and housing. How convenient, indeed! The price of both has doubled (or more) since 2000.
Anyway, I was going somewhere with this. Oh, yes, I remember. The Amero. There are those among us who believe the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican governments are working behind the scenes and without the consent of the governed to impress upon their citizens a new universal currency for the North American continent: the Amero. But, the problem with this plan is that the three countries, with their three unique currencies, are not on par. Or, at least they weren't in 2000. Now, we see that Canada and the U.S. or almost spot on. I wonder where Mexico is in relation to the other two?
So, how do you get several currencies all to equal out? One way, I imagine, would be to over-inflate the stronger currencies, driving their values closer to the weaker ones. But how? Oh, I know... Start a war that will be paid for by borrowing billions of dollars a day. See, I told you that you were going to need to dawn your tinfoil hat. But, then again... I'm not the only one who has noticed the almost deliberate devaluation of the dollar:
As I said this past November to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, "We're indeed between a rock and a hard place, and we don't talk about how we got here; we talk about how we are going to patch it up." The "solutions" proposed so far--stimulus packages, bailouts and interest rate cuts--just amount to printing more money, which will lead to greater currency devaluation, contribute to the rising costs of living, and further squeeze the middle class and our senior citizens. (Emphasis added)
~Dr. Ron Paul, Forbes Magazine (Source)
What better way to debase a nations currency than perpetual war with an invisible enemy? I've not researched the historical movements of individual currencies against each other. Like I said at the beginning, it was just an observation. There may be nothing to it at all.

National Security Letters

Thursday, March 06, 2008

So, to my chagrin, there seems to be a new report that the FBI abused its power, yet again, when it was issuing national security letters. Quoting from this AP article:
An audit by the inspector general last year found the FBI demanded personal records without official authorization or otherwise collected more data than allowed in dozens of cases between 2003 and 2005. Additionally, last year's audit found that the FBI had underreported to Congress how many national security letters were requested by more than 4,600.
But, what is a national security letter? Quoting again from the AP article:
National security letters, as outlined in the USA Patriot Act, are administrative subpoenas used in suspected terrorism and espionage cases. They allow the FBI to require telephone companies, Internet service providers, banks, credit bureaus and other businesses to produce highly personal records about their customers or subscribers without a judge's approval.
It's basically a search warrant issued by the barer without the oversight of a third party to verify its legitimacy.
These are nothing new. In colonial times, they went by a different name, but had the same effect. In those days, they were called a Writ of Assistance. Quoting from Wikipedia:
A Writ of Assistance is a legal document that serves as a general search warrant.
Unlike the warrant, it is generally open-ended, and requires all parties to support the officer to whom it was issued. Its normal use is in support of customs and excise inspections. The writ authorizes an officer to search any person or place they suspect and it does not expire. They were legalized by the Townshend Act of 1767. While they were condemned in England in 1766, general writs of assistance continued to be issued until 1819.
If you keep reading down Wikipedia's page, you'll run into this very interesting paragraph:
In response to the much-hated writs, several of the colonies included a particular requirement for search warrants in their constitutions when they declared independence in 1776. Several years later, the Fourth Amendment also contained a particularity requirement that outlawed the use of writs of assistance (and all general search warrants) by the federal government. Later, the Bill of Rights was incorporated against the states via the Fourteenth Amendment, and writs of assistance were generally proscribed.
Yep, you read that correctly. The issue and use of general search warrants by the federal government is specifically outlawed. So, here's my question for you: why are we reading about a federal agency violating the privacy rights of American citizens by issuing national security letters when they are illegal in the first place?

The Hillary Rodham Psalm

Monday, March 03, 2008

Hillary is my shepherd, I shall not want.

She makes me to bow down to big government.

She leads me beside the abortion clinic.

She restores gun control.

She leads me in the paths of socialism, for her name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of liberalism, I will fear no evil;
for Hillary is with me.

Her benefits and handouts, they comfort me.

Hillary prepares a health care system before me,
in the presence of my better judgment.

She fills my head with promises.

My welfare cup runs over.

Surely, higher taxes and illegal immigration will
follow me all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house of the Clintons' forever!
~A Patriot from Pahrump, NV

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